A Dozen Ways to Deck the Halls

12 Days of Decorating Tips for the Holiday Procrastinator

By Rachel Martens


If you are hearing about turtle doves  and partridges, and you still haven’t decorated for the holidays, you might be a bit behind.

No need to panic. If it takes 12 days to shower a true love with the gifts of the season, surely you can decorate in the same amount of time. We’ve got some surefire tips to give your home a festive, holiday look.

All you need is 12 days and a dozen ways to make your halls festive while looking like you planned it for months.

On the first day of decorating:

Pick a palette. Anne Morrissey and Holly Olson-Stevens at Anne Morrissey Interior Design say to start by finding a fresh, new, design-driven color palette, and filter all your decisions accordingly. Kiwi and Graphite are some of their favorites. For a more traditional look, try hunter green or a rich ruby.

On the second day of decorating:

Pick up some real garland to decorate mantles, banisters or doorways. Leslie Wilson and Christa Vogt at Bellwether Interior Design say real greenery gives high end appeal without the cost of faux garland. A quick addition of pine cones, ornaments or other pops of color embellish this solution.

On the third day of decorating:

Avoid the time and hassle of outdoor Christmas lights by adding single candle lights in the front windows of your home. The result is a simple, classy, and quick way to get the same effect as Christmas lights. You can even find electric candles with a timer option to give your home a soft glow from dusk until daylight.

On the fourth day of decorating:

Add pine and cedar blocks tucked around objects on bookshelves and tables. Greg Curtiss at The Wreath Factory says this adds a touch of Christmas and provides the nice fragrance of the Holidays. If you have special ornaments, place them on ornament stands or tuck them on top of the pine and cedar on bookshelves or tables to show them off. Also, if you have extra colored glass ornaments, place them in a shallow bowl or a clear glass vessel and set it on a table or bookshelf to add a little sparkle.

On the fifth day of decorating:

Wilson and Vogt point out that candles are key for holiday entertaining. Spread candles throughout your entertaining area and put a spark to them! You can buy inexpensive candles and hurricane glasses from a dollar store or go for intricate holiday-themed candle holders. Holiday scented candles also add a warmth and spirit to your home a guests are sure to notice and appreciate.

On the sixth day of decorating:

If you’re looking for something unique to get your creative juices flowing, a quick option is to create your own wreath. Purchase a wreath form from a hobby store or buy a wreath from a thrift shop. Add your own details like old family photos, moss, burlap ribbon, succulents, ornaments, birds or snow flakes.

On the seventh day of decorating:

Making your own mercury glass is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Step 1: Spray the inside of a plain glass vase with a water vinegar solution. Step 2: Spray over the water with silver or gold spray paint. Step 3: Once the paint has dried wipe away the water. You’ll be left with a beautiful mercury glass vase that cost only a few dollars.

On the eighth day of decorating:

If you’re looking to make a high end statement, Wilson and Vogt say it’s all about quantity and repetition. Purchase several apothecary jars of varying sizes and shapes and add a different material to each jar. Pine cones, candy canes, vintage bulbs or cinnamon sticks would be good options, but don’t be afraid to get creative! Decorate your mantle, dining table or buffet table with your festive jars.

On the ninth day of decorating:

Warm up your entry by keeping your large summer planters out during the holidays. Empty out your plants from the previous season and add boughs cut from your Christmas trees or evergreens in your yard. Add long sticks purchased from a hobby store along with faux berries, pine cones, bulbs, etc. Anne Morrissey Interior Design suggests birch logs or LED branches to add height. This could be applied to window boxes as well.

On the tenth day of decorating:

Go green for the holidays by making a wreath from old paper.  Lisa Gavronski of Cedar Harbor suggests using old magazines, books or sheet music. Cut the sheets in half and fold each end to meet in the center, then fold them around a wire circular wreath frame. Embellish your wreath with a holiday ribbon.

On the eleventh day of decorating:

Create an easy, modern, textural tablescape by rolling a raw burlap runner down the length of your table in a color that supports your design plan, Anne Morrissey Interior Design suggests. Layer vessels, wood discs and other natural elements and coordinated decor.

On the twelfth day of decorating:

Gather your favorite family photos in frames and arrange them in a special spot to showcase your family. The Wreath Factory’s Curtiss says this is another great place to add pine and cedar accents.

Any one of these tips, a combination, or all of them together will help you make your home glow with the warmth of the holidays this season, minus the time and planning. So, whether you decorated on Nov. 1 and are looking for some additional touches, are preparing to decorate this weekend or love to procrastinate and have 12 days or less, these ideas have you covered.


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